Christmas with a Capital C: Putting Christ Back in Christmas

Christmas with a Capital C: Putting Christ Back in Christmas

(PG) Heritage

Christmas with a Capital C is set in Trapper Falls, Alaska. The Mayor, Dan Reed, and his family are looking forward to Christmas with great enthusiasm, particularly the setting up of the Nativity scene in front of the city hall. Enter the villain and high school rival of Dan, Mitch Bright, who takes exception to the aforesaid Christmas decorations and takes up a legal battle to make sure the Nativity scene is not set up and that banners don’t mention Christmas. The themes covered in this movie include the right to practise the Christian traditions, loving your enemy and the importance of family and community.

The filming in Christmas with a Capital C is magnificent — Alaska has never looked so beautiful and awe inspiring. The acting is also good, despite the actors being somewhat hampered by the stereotypes they have to portray: the handsome, happily married hero standing up for his beliefs; the mad cap but well-meaning brother; the beautiful, calm, wise mother and wife; her adorable, well-behaved children.

Although I sympathised with the characters’ distress over the loss of Christian symbols, I found a few of the views of the mayor made me uncomfortable. One example was when Mitch Bright describes Christianity as Hocus Pocus and Dan automatically presumes he is talking about Native religions. He is also concerned about his right to worship with the traditions that are important to him. He lives in the Western world — it’s not as if he is being tortured or gaoled or executed for his beliefs like a lot of other poor Christians around the world. He has lots of rights.

I also found it a little disconcerting that the characters were so fair skinned. I looked up a census on Alaska and learnt that, in 2010, 14.8 per cent of Alaskans were American Indian and Alaska Native persons lived there, so they should have been somewhere there wandering about taking part in community life.

Nevertheless, for people who are tired of violence, commercialism and sex scenes at this time of year, Christmas with a Capital C could make a nice change.

Katy Gerner

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